TREAT TB trains 100 nurses in clinical management of MDR-TB in the Philippines

Nurses from facilities across two high-burden regions of the Philippines attended training sessions on clinical management of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) as part of an ongoing nationwide effort to intensify TB case-finding, diagnosis and treatment in the country, led by TREAT TB, in partnership with the National TB Programme (NTP).

The training course included lectures on TB diagnosis, assisting with side effects and common errors in MDR-TB management, and was facilitated by two of The Union’s MDR-TB experts, Dr Ignacio Monedero and Dr Patricia Macias.

Nurses provide essential services to MDR-TB patients which include monitoring and administering treatment, identifying and addressing adverse effects of medicines, and conducting contact tracing. Their understanding of best practice and correct clinical management is essential to reducing TB.

The World Health Organization (WHO) ranks the Philippines as one of the top 30 high-burden countries for both TB and MDR-TB. To address this high burden, the Philippines’ Department of Health is making a concerted effort to improve TB services in the country. TREAT TB is supporting the National TB Programme with implementation of the shortened treatment regimen for MDR-TB (as recommended by the WHO in 2016) by providing technical assistance and capacity building in operational research and clinical management. This latest nurses training is part of this multi-year project.

As the first group of nurses concluded the course, one of the participants commented, “This training gave me confidence in managing adverse drug reactions and it is especially important as I am the only nurse in my area.”

TREAT TB is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by The Union and Vital Strategies.